Governments must work with private sector to boost cybersecurity - Sophos

In an exclusive with Astro AWANI, international cybersecurity firm Sophos urges governments around the world, and Malaysia included, to work with the private sector to boost cybersecurity protection.

Wisniewski stated that police departments, and similar law enforecement bodies lack the know-how of modern cyber security knowledge. - Photo Astro AWANI | Astro Awani
In an exclusive with Astro AWANI, international cybersecurity firm Sophos urged governments around the world, and Malaysia included, to work with the private sector to boost cyber security protection.

Sophos Principal Research Scientist, Chester Wisniewski stated that “police departments, and similar law enforecement bodies lack the know-how of modern cyber security knowledge.

“The private sector, particularly those solely involved in the development and improvements of cyber security can assist and provide a wealth of knowledge when it comes to defeating the latest cyber threats in the country” he added.


When asked if there has been successful cases of cyber-security threats being thwarted or cyber criminals apprehended following a collaboration between private cyber contractors and those with the police, Wisniewski presented samples of case studies where indeed successful investigations have taken place.

“Yes, there are clear cases when private companies and police departments have gone on to arrest cyber criminals," he added.

“In fact, cases in Canada and France are still ongoing because the police departments and law enforcement bodies there see value in a continued ongoing relationship with private cyber contractors” he added.

But enabling private companies to assist in state-related work can prove dicey, as the case with the British cyber security researcher Marcus Hutchins presented.

In the United Kingdom, Marcus Hutchins have assisted with stopping the ransomware “WannaCry” following his work with the police there.

But, Hutchins himself is now detained in the US after confessing in a police interview to creating the code that harvests bank details and other private details of users on the internet.

But Wisniewski argued that the police departments around the world “simply do not have the expertise to keep up with the fast changing landscape of the cyber threat world”.

In 2017 alone, threats from ransomeware like “ExPetya” and “WannaCry” has infected millions of PCs around the world, inflicting millions of ringgit of damage to governments, companies and private citizens alike.

Truth be told that the debate to end these cyber threats remain elusive as the threats from the cyber world continues to evolve as fast as arrests and investigations take place.

Watch "Market Talk" with Sophos and learn more about Sophos’ views on companies not ready for cyberthreats, how to beat cybercriminals, and plainly, how to stay safe online.